Ten young Aboriginal people from Perth and more remote parts of Western Australia are taking part in a swimming and lifesaving employment program to earn qualifications towards jobs in the industry.
Developed by the Royal Lifesaving Society of WA, the ‘Talent Pool’ program has formed a new partnership with State Government venue manager VenuesWest to train and employ local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and university students new to Perth.
Participants are working towards a job-ready swimming qualification, including Bronze Medallion certification, to enable them to pursue work or a career in lifesaving.
They are learning swimming skills, water safety and first aid qualifications – with VenuesWest expecting the program to provide employment opportunities for participants at some of the State’s venues.
The program is also providing participants with more general work-readiness skills, supported by mentoring and coaching services.
Talent Pool has been used successfully in conjunction with community pools around the State to create first-time employment opportunities for participants.
It also helps to promote greater water safety awareness and skills in young people from regional areas, where drownings continue to occur more frequently.
Talent Pool supports VenuesWest’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which outlines a framework of initiatives the organisation will pursue to promote and support Reconciliation in Western Australia.
As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
“I commend VenuesWest and Royal Lifesaving on this terrific program – providing an avenue towards first-time employment for many young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“It is particularly pleasing to see the inclusion of university students new to Perth – helping with the transition to the city and providing the chance for ongoing employment as they undertake their studies.
“Regional Western Australians continue to be overrepresented in statistics for drownings, and Talent Pool is doing important work to raise water safety skills around the State.
“By completing this program, participants will put themselves in a great position to find work in lifesaving, whether as a job to support further education or training, or as a career in its own right.
“VenuesWest is committed to delivering on the outcomes it has set in its Reconciliation Action Plan, and it is pleasing to see such a positive, practical program being carried out in some of the State’s venues.”